It’s January. Time to set goals, declare resolutions, map out change. Right? There is always an influx of January-iers. January-iers: those who’s motivation kicks in at the beginning of the year and decide it’s time to become a “new you” then fizzle by March. The beginning of a new year is always a great time to start fresh, it’s the “Monday of the Months” (F. Scott Fitgerald) however keeping that enthusiasm for the full-year can be overwhelming. We want to help make that New Year’s resolution a year-long resolution.
Step 1: What’s Your End Game
You don’t start a road trip without an ending destination. You also don’t take a road trip without celebrating the milestones along the way - my kids scream every time we cross a state line. It blows their mind when I tell them there in two places at the same time. I digress… Starting with your end goal in mind will help you start to define milestones along the way.
Step 2: Yep, you guessed it. Defining Milestones
Mapping out milestones is like Siri walking us through our route. Regardless of your end goal, it could be related to fitness or lifestyle changes or professional goals, defining smaller, more palatable goals to help you get to that finish line will help you stay the course. As we check off each goal along the way we can see and feel progress. If you feel like you’re spinning your wheels it’s easy to stray off the path, but when we can physically feel and see progress, it’s a motivational game-changer.
Celebrate those wins. One thing that gives me SOOOO much satisfaction, is checking off a list. I’ll write down something I accomplished - even if it wasn’t originally on my list - just to check it off. So as you hit that “quarter-mile” goal shout it! Check it off the list. Buy yourself an “I’m worth it” gift - a new planner, or running shoes, or a super sweet water bottle.
Step 3: Make it Visible
I’m a visual person. Having my goals physically displayed helps me stay accountable. Put your goals on the fridge, your planner, the calendar, the computer display screen, your bathroom mirror, framed on your filing cabinet at work. Wherever you’re spending your time. Constant reminders not only will help you keep yourself accountable, but others will see and you never know… you may inspire someone else to take a step.
Step 4: Accountability
When it comes to personal fitness goals, I’m solid. I can keep myself on track. That isn’t always the case with everyone. My friend has her fitness goals mapped out and we check-in with each other each morning. She likes to have the check-in to keep her accountable. We talk about daily workouts: how to improve, celebrate it happened and if it didn’t happen what was it that bumped her off the path. Accountability partners can be part of any goal - co-workers, gym buddies, spouse, friend, classmates. Regardless of your goal having a support team running right along with you makes the journey just that much more special.
Step 5: Be Adaptable
Set-backs happen. They just do. And the best way to get through them and stay the course is to accept the fact that they’re bound to happen. We’ve all heard the quote that goes something like: it’s not what happens to us that defines us, it’s how we react to those challenges that really matters. Acknowledging the set-back, wrapping your head around how to move forward, then adjusting your course will keep that finish line in sight.
Step 6: Cross the Finish Line
I’m a runner, so I'm sorry for all the running/finish line references. Yet, as a runner when I finish a race, I’m already thinking of the next one. When you hit that final BIG goal, enjoy your moment! Celebrate! Reflect on the journey. Then sit back and start thinking about what that goal will now lead to and how you can build upon it.
New Year. New You… maybe that mindset isn’t what we need to stay the course. Maybe it isn’t a new YOU but an improved you. Make resolutions. Set goals. Set subgoals to help you stay the path. But along the way remember to enjoy the journey and use those goals you’ve hit as stepping stones to continue to build and grow and lead an extraordinary life. Happy goal-crushing my friends.